KC Royals: Ten Things That Have Gone Right In 2016
By John Viril
9. Whit Merrifield Shows Promise
Yes, Whit Merrifield is back in AAA. However, his hot start after his call-up to Kansas City fueled 1.0 bWAR (Baseball-Reference Wins Above Replacement) of value in 53 games. For awhile, he was the main spark plug of the KC Royals offense.
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Merrifield’s presence also gave the front office the confidence to DFA second baseman Omar Infante and eat the remaining money on his contract. Infante under-performed all of the 2.5 years he spent in a Kansas City Royals uniform.
At the very least, Merrifield helped spare KC Royals fans from watching another 1.5 years of Omar Infante.
At the end of his run in Kansas City, opposing pitchers found some holes in the 27-year-old rookie’s swing. As the strikeouts began to pile up, the front office sent Merrifield down to AAA in favor of top prospect Raul Mondesi Jr.
Whit Could Return Soon
But, don’t expect Merrifield to remain in Omaha much longer. When rosters expand on September 1 to every player on the 40-man roster, expect Merrifield to return to KC.
In fact, I anticipate a long Kansas City Royals career for Whit Merrifield as a utility player due to his ability to play seven positions with plus defense. He might even crack the starting lineup if he can adjust to the flaws that major-league pitchers learned to exploit in his first taste of major-league baseball earlier this season.
Next: No. 8